Marion School Budget approved with conservative increases

By Georgia Sparling | Mar 15, 2017

Marion — On Wednesday night, the Marion School Committee approved a budget with a modest .6 percent or $35,395 increase above the current year.

“Is it everything we want? Maybe not, but it does provide quality support going forward,” said Superintendent Doug White.

The $5,896,051 budget does not reflect a drop in teachers, but it also doesn’t include two part-time positions the School Committee would like to see – a half-time physical education teacher and a .3 health teacher. The former was cut from last year’s budget. The latter was proposed last year as a position to be shared evenly among tri-town elementary schools. Only Mattapoisett funded the teacher last year, but this year Rochester is also expected to fund it.

“For us this was definitely the hardest part of the budget,” said Chair Christine Marcollini. “With the financial constraints we’re under it just wasn’t possible without cutting something else.”

While there will not be a reduction in teaching faculty, three custodian positions will likely be outsourced. Other changes in personnel include replacing the adjustment counselor with a board certified behavior analyst and moving the psychologist from part-time to full-time, which will improve the school’s abilities to meet social and emotional needs, said Sippican School Principal Lyn Rivet.

“This is a critical position to our building,” she said.

One of the major increases in the budget is $106,874 for salary adjustments and staff alignments, including contractual obligations as teachers increase their education level.

There are some reductions in the budget, particularly utility costs that were reduced by more than $24,000. Additionally, the budget was offset by state special education funds in the amount of $220,253.

The School Committee unanimously approved the budget.

Marcolini said, it’s “the best case scenario with the hand we’ve been dealt. We can live with this budget.”

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